Welcome to ABC Snorkel Charters Port Douglas – Your Micro Family Company for Reef Adventures
Explore the wonders of the Great Barrier Reef with ABC Snorkel Charters, your premier choice for personalized reef experiences. As a micro family company, we take pride in offering the smallest group sizes available for daily reef excursions departing from Port Douglas.
For your convenience and to assist in your trip planning, we’ve compiled a list of Frequently Asked Questions (and their Answers) below. These FAQs aim to provide you with valuable insights into our offerings. Should you have any inquiries beyond what’s covered here, don’t hesitate to get in touch. You can reach us at phone number (07) 4099 6243 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Experience the Future with Our AI Bot:
In addition to our exceptional personalized services, we’re excited to introduce you to our AI bot. This smart and valuable digital assistant is here to make your reef adventure even more convenient. Our AI bot can provide information, answer questions, and assist with tasks efficiently and effectively, enhancing your overall experience with us.
The Great Barrier Reef is beautiful any time of year. However, the weather is very hard to predict, as it can be unseasonable at any time of year. Port Douglas is in the tropical part of Australia and has two main seasons: the ‘Wet Season’ November to April (water temperatures 28-32 degrees Celsius) and the ‘Dry Season’ May to October (water temperatures 22-25 degrees Celsius).
Visibility varies between 10 and 30m+ throughout the year. June, July and August is our whale season, which often adds the extra excitement of seeing whales on the way to the reef, or maybe even at our reef locations! October and November often provide us with the calmest seas. Many people look for sun when planning a reef trip, however, fish are not scared of clouds, or rain, but visibility is reduced with rough seas. We have access to a four-day weather forecast and will not run if we believe conditions to be too rough.
Selecting a definitive “best” location for snorkeling on the reef is challenging. Our unique advantage of accommodating only 12 passengers enables us to explore an extensive array of low use reef sites. These are locations where larger operators are not permitted. At each distinct reef we visit, the diversity among sites is remarkable. Additionally, the marine life visible on these sites fluctuates daily in response to the prevailing conditions. The ever-changing nature of the underwater world ensures that no two days offer identical experiences in terms of marine sightings.
The Island day tends to be more protected in most weather conditions and therefore very suited to private charter groups and family days with young children.
The Low Islands are also much closer to Port Douglas approx. travel time 30mins.
There can be other tour operators on the Islands at the same time.
More remote locations and definitely away from the crowds in fact from any other boats or tourism operators.
Travel time to the Outer Reef is 70-90 minutes in each direction depending on the locations that are decided on the day. We will keep you entertained during the trip and this is always a good chance to ask questions and learn about The Great Barrier Reef.
The media has created a lot of confusion over the last few years. The most contentious subject would be Coral Bleaching for further information on this please click here. The Great Barrier Reef is alive and looking beautiful – which can been seen in the recent photos taken on our Facebook or and our Instagram. Whilst there are currently many threats to The Great Barrier Reef, which will be discussed in our on board marine talk, we have a roaming permit. This allows us the flexibility to choose from a large number of locations on The Great Barrier Reef. Although some sites may have suffered in the last few years, many others are as pristine as they ever were. With our permit and small vessel, we can access some of the remote reefs, away from the crowds and the big operators to show you everything as you had imagined it! We have beautiful Corals, Nudibranchs, Clownfish, Turtles, Maori Wrasse, Sharks and all the marine life in between!
This really is more of an issue for beach dwellers than offshore reef visitors. However, in the summer months, we do provide lycra suits for protection. We have prepared a simple fact sheet on Marine Stingers.
The stinger season in our region is approximately November to April, and there is a potential presence of jellyfish, particularly the Box Jellyfish and Irukandji. However, we have safety measures in place to ensure your well-being. Our snorkel tours provide you with stinger suits for protection, and our experienced guides are well-trained in dealing with such situations.
The advantage of boating with us during this season is that our boats are equipped to take you to the outer reef areas where the likelihood of encountering jellyfish is significantly lower compared to nearshore areas. We prioritize safety, and our team is well-prepared to provide you with a safe and enjoyable experience.
We have a fully stocked ABC/Oceansports store at 34 Macrossan St. Port Douglas. Where you can purchase when you are here in person online or you can order in advance of your tour.
1. Why should I consider cycling to your vessel in the morning instead of driving?
Cycling to our vessel offers several benefits, both for you and the environment. It’s a convenient and eco-friendly way to reach us. Here are some compelling reasons:
2. What’s the distance between the center of Port Douglas and your vessel?
The center of Port Douglas is approximately 2 kilometers from our vessel.
3. How can I rent a bicycle in Port Douglas?
There are bike hire companies in Port Douglas that make it easy to rent a bicycle for your trip. You can find several options within the town.
4. What are the benefits of cycling to your vessel?
5. Can I bring my own bicycle, or do I need to rent one?
You can absolutely bring your own bicycle if you have one. We encourage the use of bicycles to reach our vessel, whether you rent one or bring your own.
6. Is there bicycle parking available near your vessel?
Yes, we provide secure bicycle parking facilities near our vessel, ensuring your bike is safe while you’re on board.
7. Do you provide any special amenities for cyclists?
We understand the value of cycling as a sustainable mode of transportation. As a token of appreciation, we offer cyclists a small discount or special incentive for choosing to cycle to our vessel. Check our website or contact us for current offers.
8. Are there shower facilities available for cyclists who may want to freshen up upon arrival?
Yes, we have shower facilities available for cyclists who may want to freshen up before boarding our vessel. We want to ensure your comfort and convenience.
9. How do I plan my cycling route to your vessel from Port Douglas?
You can use GPS apps or consult local maps to plan your route. If you need specific directions or recommendations, feel free to reach out to our team, and we’ll be happy to assist you.
10. Is cycling safe in Port Douglas?
Port Douglas is known for its cycling-friendly atmosphere, with dedicated bike lanes and well-maintained roads. However, we recommend following basic safety precautions, such as wearing a helmet, obeying traffic rules, and being aware of your surroundings.
Cycling to our vessel is not only a practical and environmentally responsible choice but also a memorable part of your experience with us. We look forward to welcoming you on board!
Yes lots of FREE parking and just a few metres from our boat, we are located at Maranos Fuel Wharf on Port Street. Port Douglas. 4877.
Once you have booked with us we send you a confirmation where there is a GET DIRECTIONS BUTTON so Google can guide you to our boat.
We can arrange pick-ups and drop-offs at most resorts with a 3rd party at an additional cost. The pricing details can be found on our pricing page.
We encourage you to walk or cycle to the wharf. Please note that Port Douglas is a relatively small place, and most hotels are within walking distance of our boat. We meet at 07:45, and the exact vessel location can be found in your booking confirmation. To get directions, please press the ‘GET DIRECTIONS’ button, which will redirect you to Google Maps and provide you with the exact route and estimated time from your location.
For those driving, there is plenty of free parking available right next to our vessel.”
We have holiday and family friendly daily timings. We ask you to meet at our boat at 07:45 am.
We can get the paperwork done and our boat returns around 15.00. (3pm)
Giving you enough time for a holiday breakfast in the morning and back for an afternoon siesta!
Yes. We have top quality snorkel equipment. Our lightweight fins are made from modern monoprene material which are much kinder to your feet and much nicer than the usual rubber hire fins. We have different sized masks & snorkels and also children’s sizes.
We also have prescription masks available without charge (better to advise us in advance) if these are required.
In our summer months (wet season) we supply full length lycra suits – the material is like what the Australians call a rash guard. These are great not only for Jelly Fish protection but sun protection.
In our winter months (dry season) we supply 5mm long armed short leg wet suits – For the juniors approx 7-10 years old we have full 5mm wet suits.
NOTE if you are type of person that really feels the cold we would suggest you bringing your own under garment – This is a extra layer that goes under the wet suit similar to underwear and these would be deemed as a person item and not supplied by us.
Being a micro tour operator running with such low numbers, we often book out well ahead. During the school and Christmas holidays periods, we can be fully booked for many days in a row. As such, we suggest you please book early to reserve your ABC experience.
Yes. If you want to come along to join a partner/family and still learn some amazing things about the Great Barrier Reef or just to see the whales frolic. Maybe you are simply not up to snorkelling or don’t want to get wet.
Yes, we offer a delightful selection of snacks & refreshments to enhance your experience while exploring the reefs. Please note our food packaging is recyclable to keep in line with us being as environmentally aware as possible. Here’s a breakdown of what you can enjoy throughout the day:
Morning Delights (Approximately 11.30am) We invite you to savor morning tea or coffee and to complement your beverage there is a pastry and some fresh cut fruit.
Lunch (Approximately 1.30pm), we provide a Deli-style roll and a delicious cookie. You can indulge in this meal at your own pace, ensuring a relaxed ride home to Port Douglas.
Cheers to Adventure: Alcoholic drinks such as beer and wine become available on the return journey, adding an extra touch of relaxation and enjoyment to your day.
We do have Vegetarian, Vegan options available – These need to be ordered when you make your initial booking.
We look forward to serving you on your reef adventure!
Yes, we have a limited supply of, canned soft drinks, beers and wine on board for purchase. Please note, alcohol can only be served after you’ve completed your in-water activities for the day and on the trip home! Please bring a credit card. No cash is accepted on board.
At ABC, our focus is on quality rather than quantity, ensuring you have a memorable and relaxed experience. We carefully select two snorkel locations to maximize your enjoyment. Safety and weather conditions are always top priorities when choosing these spots, ensuring your day is both exciting and safe.
No, because we limit our passenger numbers to a maximum of 12 guests, we are ‘allowed’ to visit the many Low Use Reefs. This is a Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority term and what it means is, Low Use Reefs have a maximum 15-person limit. This instantly rules out all the larger operators getting to the best spots. ABC has a whole different philosophy than the mainstream reef operators. ABC days are about adventure and excitement; no two days are ever the same. In reality, we could go to a different location every single day of the year! Many customers come out with us 2 or 3 times in the same week.
Waterproof phone bags these can be used down to 10metres or 33′ feet in depth, Reef safe sunscreen, Micro SD memory cards, soft drinks, some beer & wines. Please bring a credit card as no cash is accepted on board.
Elevate your snorkeling experience by renting a GoPro from ABC Snorkel Charters. Why miss out on preserving the best memories of your day? Our GoPro rentals offer exceptional video and picture quality that will ensure your moments last a lifetime.
Designed with a waterproof housing and a convenient handle, the GoPro is your perfect companion for capturing stunning images both above and below the water’s surface. Whether you’re snorkeling or diving, our skilled crew are eager to help and if asked nicely they can record for you some up-close videos with you right there with some of our mesmerizing marine life, all while you enjoy your ABC snorkeling adventure.
At the conclusion of your excursion, we provide you with the SD card and adapter containing all your breathtaking pictures. Booking your GoPro rental is a breeze – you can secure it in advance or opt to rent one onboard, depending on availability.
Seize the opportunity to relive your snorkeling escapade through vivid imagery. Rent a GoPro from ABC Snorkel Charters today and make your memories everlasting.
We have the amazing Go Pro 9 complete with handle and underwater housing at just $75 per day with a 64GB memory card for you to take home. Capture some amazing Reef Photographs and HD or even 4K Video to share worldwide with all your family and friends. All those amazing memories that will last a lifetime!
We have for sale waterproof phone cases both in our shop and on board our boat.
Waterproof phone bags these can be used down to 10metres or 33′ feet in depth,
These are very reasonably priced and a great way to catch some awesome moments of your ABC day both in the water and around our vessel.
Yes. Absolutely and highly recommended it. The Great Barrier Reef is a photographers’ paradise.
Yes. The owner of ABC is an underwater photographer and has compiled a very special collection. We email you a dropbox link after the trip.
“Yes. You don’t have to be a champion swimmer, but it’s important to be comfortable in open water. We cater to singles, couples, and families, providing a very family-friendly experience. We even offer full 5mm wetsuits for children aged 7 and above, which is great for keeping them warm.
Additionally, we have token flotation devices available, such as noodles and basic life jackets.”
We need to travel 70-90 minutes in each direction depending on the locations that are decided on the day. We will keep you entertained during the trip and this is always a good chance to ask questions and learn about The Great Barrier Reef. We also provide snorkel briefings on the way, so you can enter the water and make the most of your day as soon as the engines are turned off!
A sense of adventure, food/snacks, water bottle, towel, sunscreen/block, sea sickness medication (it’s preventative, better to take some ‘just in case’), something dry to wear for the return journey, camera.
When visiting our website, you can access pricing and daily itineraries by selecting the “Itinerary and Pricing” tab. Our website can be found at www.abcsnorkelcharters.com.au. To make a booking, simply click on the “Book Now” button available on all pages of our website.
ABC’s booking system is live and operates 24/7.
You can easily check availability and make a booking by clicking the “Book Now” button found on most pages of our website. In case you don’t see availability on your desired date, please feel free to call or email us.
Note that on Somedays, we may ask you to call for bookings. In any case, it’s always worth calling to double-check for any last-minute availability, cancellations, or to be added to our cancellation list for a specific date.
Yes, you can book and pay online.
However, please note that a booking fee is usually added to the price. If you prefer not to pay this fee, you can call or email us directly to make the booking over the phone or we can send you a payment link without any booking fees.
Cancellation Policy for Outer Reef Snorkelling: Cancellations made within 48 hours prior to the booked tour date or ‘no shows’ are subject to 100% cancellation charge with no refund – If a cancellation takes place outside the 48 hour period then there is a $25 admin charge per person.
Cancellation Policy for Outer Reef Private Charters (ie when you have booked the whole boat for yourselves or your group): Cancellations made within 5 days of private charter date are subject to a 100% cancellation charge – If a cancellation takes place outside the 5 day period then there is a $300 admin charge.
These types of shoes are handy for walking around our boat, all of our outer reef tours are operated from our vessel. We do not visit any beaches or sand quays and we do not advocate any walking or standing on any coral.
Yes, we usually only take children from 7 years old as 7 years of age tends to be the age that good quality equipment that we have on board fits. With older ages a lot depends on your body weight and certain medical conditions, particularly heart disease, increase the risks of snorkelling. It is important to consider age and fitness levels when participating in snorkelling or diving activities. If there are any doubts please contact ABC Snorkel Charters directly.
Absolutely, the chance to spot turtles is always a highlight of our snorkel tours. The Great Barrier Reef is home to six out of the world’s seven species of sea turtles, making it a promising destination for these captivating creatures. Among the turtles commonly encountered are the Green Sea and Hawksbill Turtles.
The possibility of encountering turtles on any given day is influenced by several factors. These include temperature conditions, water visibility, the presence of nourishment sources, and the natural balance of predators. While we cannot guarantee turtle sightings, the diverse ecosystem of the Great Barrier Reef significantly enhances the likelihood of these incredible marine beings gracing us with their presence during your tour.
The visibility of the sea floor upon entry is influenced by the tide and our site’s specific location for the day. In most instances, as soon as you step into the water, the sea floor becomes visible. You’ll often be greeted by captivating coral pinnacles, slopes, or vibrant walls bustling with marine life. Occasionally, we might encounter scenarios where the water appears blue upon entry, and the reef or sandy bottom becomes visible after a brief swim.
There is indeed a chance of encountering smaller shark species during our snorkel tours. However, rest assured that these species pose no danger to snorkelers. The most commonly sighted species are the elegant White-Tip and Black Reef sharks. Despite their presence, these sharks are relatively small, typically measuring just over a meter in length. It’s important to note that their usual behavior involves swimming away when approached closely. For instance, the White-Tip Shark, primarily a nocturnal species, is often spotted in a ‘sleeping’ position on the sandy ocean floor, gently ventilating its gills by opening and closing its mouth. While some guests might initially have concerns about sharing the water with sharks, these smaller species frequently become the highlight of their snorkeling experience.
Generally, there are very few species that would pose a spontaneous threat to your safety. However, we strongly advocate for a no-touching policy while exploring the reef. Even though many species do not display aggressive behavior, they might have various defense mechanisms. The primary risk you might face is by aggressively approaching or touching marine life. Adhering to a “look but don’t touch” approach is not only the best way to fully relish the experience but also serves to safeguard the reef and its inhabitants simultaneously.
No. This is not the ideal tour for you if you can’t swim or are not confident in open water. If this is the case, we would suggest maybe one of the larger vessels that visits an Island or a Pontoon might be better. This is just for your peace of mind, comfort on the day and safety. Please note age and fitness levels are critical. Older age, and some medical conditions, especially heart disease, increase the risks of snorkelling.
You can book a private guide who could help you on a more 1:1 situation. However you would need to book this in advance and we have this option when you make your booking from our website.
Snorkeling with a beard and moustache can sometimes pose challenges in getting a proper mask seal. The presence of facial hair can interfere with the mask’s ability to create an airtight seal, which may result in water leakage. However, there are a few tips you can try to improve the seal:
Remember, individual experiences may vary depending on the thickness and length of your facial hair, as well as the specific mask you use. It’s a good idea to try different techniques and masks to find the best fit for your particular situation.
“When it comes to selecting the perfect snorkelling mask, the most important factor to consider is finding one that fits your unique facial features just right. While many people tend to focus solely on face width, we understand that some customers face challenges due to having a more prominent facial feature, such as a larger nose. Fortunately, our shop offers a range of masks specifically designed to accommodate individuals with larger noses.
For those with a larger nose, it’s crucial to choose a mask with a spacious nose pocket. This ensures a comfortable fit that won’t cause any discomfort on the nose bridge while maintaining a proper seal around your cheeks.
We highly recommend calling us to arrange a mask fitting at our shop to find a mask more suitable for your needs than the standard masks found on most dive boats.”
Opting for a maximum of 12 passengers on our Great Barrier Reef expeditions results in an exceptional and exclusive adventure. Our deliberate choice of this limited group size offers a range of distinct advantages:
We are committed to providing you with a remarkable and eco-conscious expedition that leaves you with cherished memories and a newfound appreciation for the natural world.
It’s possible. Responses to boat travel can vary greatly from person to person, and the conditions of each trip are unique. Some individuals experience seasickness even on perfectly calm days. If you tend to get motion sickness in cars or planes, you might be more susceptible to seasickness. Consider taking a travel sickness medication if you’re unsure, as a precautionary measure.
If you’re prone to seasickness, consider taking motion sickness medication before the trip. Also, avoid heavy meals before boarding the boat and stay hydrated.
Seasickness medication serves as valuable insurance for your trip. Preventing seasickness is far preferable to dealing with it once it sets in. ‘Travacalm’ Chewable tablets (pink and white box) are readily available at most Australian pharmacies. To maximize the effectiveness of the medication, it is advisable to take it one hour before departure.
We usually have these available on board in a convenient 2 pack. PLEASE NOTE As this is pharmacy medication we are not permitted to give these away there is a small additional charge.
Experience the magic of tropical rain in Port Douglas! Unlike the reef’s outer areas, rain in Port Douglas does not deter fish or disrupt our daily activities. Don’t be deceived by the rain in town; at the reef, clear skies prevail. Port Douglas enjoys the beauty of convection rainfall, where oceanic evaporation nourishes the mountains, resulting in occasional rain. Embrace the contrasting scenes as the reef invites you into its serene oasis amid Port Douglas’ moody ambiance.
Being all things to all people, particularly when combining diving and snorkeling, was increasingly challenging due to the different location requirements for each activity. Additionally, numerous individuals highlight that snorkeling offers an ideal opportunity to observe 90% of the Great Barrier Reef within the first 4 meters, making it a fantastic way to explore the Reef.
Abc Snorkel Charters has earned recognition through Ecotourism Australia’s premier ecotourism certification program. By choosing to journey with us, you’re endorsing a business with a solid dedication to sustainable practices and outstanding nature-based tourism offerings. Our certification underscores our dedication to:
Ecotourism Australia Certification programs have received approval from the Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC).
Find out more about EcoTourism here
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